Described as London’s “rock ‘n’ soul superheroes”, Near Death Experience (NDX) is here to kick ass with their unique sound. A collision of rock, soul, and funk simmering in a pool of indie-pop, the UK-based foursome has garnered a strong following with its energetic performances. From notable festivals like Ealing Blues Festival and Ealing Oxjam Festival, the lads have a strong stage presence; however, they are as intoxicating in their studio recordings. Featured on The Other Side Reviews, Roadie Music, Talk About Pop Music and Music For The Misfits – to name but a few – Near Death Experience are reaching audiences far beyond their UK borders. The latest addition to their discography is the single ‘Lightning’.
Following their well-received single ‘Living’, NDX bring a sense of pop, folk and rock together in ‘Lightning’. Introducing themselves with gruff vocals atop rolling guitars, there is a merging of old pop and modern-day hard rock. Gritty and rough from the opening “hoo ha”, the vocals set the stage for a hard-hitting song hitting you between the eyes. Yet, while a gravel rock sentimentality exists in the lyricism and vocal execution, it is not particularly evident in the melodic arrangement. Rough is built on a smoother, warm, charming pop flow finding the line between “ah, take that” and “well, this is cool”.
Rolling guitars open ‘Lightning’ with a smooth pop-inspired tone reminiscent of The Beatles and vintage power-pop. This mellifluous flow continues with a driving bass and harmonic drumming. In fact, at one point the acoustic guitars reminded me of iconic South African artist Jonny Clegg’s songs with a hint of his folk-rock style in the melody.
Just as Jonny Clegg and The Beatles had strong messages in their songs, Near Death Experience is as profound in ‘Lightning’. Filled with the idea of carpe diem, NDX “passionately implores you to squeeze the most from every second…devour every challenge…to never stop because why should you walk when you can run…” Soul-stirring and heart-pumping but with a toe-tapping quality, Near Death Experience have us ready to face the day with ‘Lightning’.
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